Physics-Based Modeling of Rolling/Sliding Contact Fatigue Life
Award last edited on: 9/2/2022

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
DOD : Army
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Harpal Singh

Company Information

Sentient Corporation (AKA: Sentient Science Corporation)

850 Energy Drive Suite 307
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
   (208) 522-8560
Location: Single
Congr. District: 02
County: Bonneville

Phase I

Contract Number: W911W6-20-C-0028
Start Date: 2/5/2020    Completed: 2/15/2021
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
In response to Army topic A19-140, Sentient Science proposes to incorporate its DigitalClone modeling technology to predict the life of high-end precision bearings. For an accurate prediction of life, a physics-based model is required which captures the kinematics and dynamics of bearings operation, considers surface characteristics, mechanical properties, and material microstructure. In Phase 1, Sentient will demonstrate their extensively validated and commercially available predictive suite of computational modeling tools called DigitalClone. Sentient Science’s DigitalClone technology enables evaluation of bearing life characteristics in real-life application scenarios. Sentient’s DigitalClone technology is enriched with a multi-body bearing dynamics simulation tool specialized for analyzing rolling element bearings. The bearing analysis tool calculates the dynamic motion of all the components inside bearings, contact details for the interaction between the components, and their aggregate response as a single unit. The DigitalClone capability will be further developed to incorporate the effect of thermomechanical influences on bearing internal clearances and in turn the roller-raceway contact pressure in order to reliably predict the performance of rolling element bearings.

Phase II

Contract Number: W58RGZ-22-C-0015
Start Date: 2/16/2022    Completed: 1/31/2023
Phase II year
Phase II Amount
Physics based modeling is required for an accurate prediction of bearing life. The key challenge of developing an accurate prediction model is the development of a multi-scale physics model that accounts for the kinematics and dynamics of bearing operation, material microstructure from latest bearing manufacturing processes, surface finish and residual stress of the final components, and the thermomechanical stress. Sentient developed multiscale physics-based models over several years to predict the fatigue behavior of mechanical components such as bearings at the microstructural level. In Phase I, Sentient demonstrated the approach to predict rolling contact fatigue life at a coupon level. Under Phase II, Sentient will demonstrate the modeling prediction on a component level at different bearing configurations, surface finishes, loading conditions, lubrication and more. Multiple set of tools at multiple temporal and spatial scales will be used to perform the simulations and to predict the bearing fatigue life. Model capabilities will be enhanced to account the effect of thermomechanical stresses. In Phase II, Sentient will partner with Rolls-Royce (RR), The University of Akron (UA), and Napoleon Engineering Services (NES) to validate the DC model on rolling element bearings under operating conditions of limited lubrication. Multiple bearing case studies with different bearing configurations (ball and roller bearing), materials (M50, M50 NiL, 52100), surface finishes, and operating conditions will be tested and simulated under rolling contact fatigue life. Bearing Analysis Tool (BAT) will be used to conduct multibody dynamic simulation of rolling element bearings to generate time histories of the component motions and contact details of deep groove ball bearing and cylindrical roller bearing. There are four main technical objectives to be achieved in Phase II.